May 2021
Amina Claudine Myers Named
2021 Living Legacy Jazz Award Honoree
We are pleased to announce that pianist, organist, vocalist, composer, and master improvisationalist Amina Claudine Myers has been named recipient of the 2021 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO!

Ms. Myers will be awarded the 2021 Living Legacy Jazz Award Presented by PECO at an online celebration this November. The Living Legacy Jazz Award honors living jazz master artists residing in the mid-Atlantic region who have kept the spirit and tradition of this evolving art form alive, maintaining the vitality of jazz for future generations through advocacy, mentorship, and the transmission of artistic skill and cultural knowledge.

The 2021 event will be presented virtually in partnership with the Jazz Philadelphia Summit November 5-6. Event details are currently being firmed up, but in addition to the ceremony honoring Ms. Myers’ extraordinary career and contributions to the jazz field, a concert and student educational activities are planned.

Born in Blackwell, Arkansas, Amina Claudine Myers' early musical career began with piano lessens and quickly progressed to starting her own gospel group and leading church choirs. Ms. Myers studied European concert music at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where she graduated with a degree in Music Education. The next stop on her musical journey was Chicago. In addition to teaching music for six years in Chicago’s public school system, Ms. Myers joined the AACM in 1966, honing her craft as a composer and performing alongside such visionary artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Ajaramu (Jerold Donovan), Henry Threadgill, and Kalaparusha (Maurice McIntyre). In the 1970's, she hit the road with Sonny Stitt and The Gene Ammons Quartet. Ms. Myers began touring Europe with the Lester Bowie Quintet and The New York Organ Ensemble in 1978 which evolved into performances in Europe, Africa, Japan, Canada, and the U.S. as a soloist, and with trio, quartet, sextet and voice choir. She began concerts for the pipe organ In the late eighties and is well-known for her workshops, master classes, seminars, and residencies in universities and schools in the U.S. as well as Europe. Two of her larger works include: Interiors, a composition for chamber orchestra conducted by Peter Kotik and performed by S.E.M. Orchestra, produced by the AACM and performed at the NYC Society of Ethical Culture; and the Improvisational Suite for Chorus, Pipe Organ and Chorus, a piece for 16 operatic voices, pipe organ, and two percussionists. Ms. Myers has received numerous awards and accolades, including being inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall Of Fame in 2001 and The Arkansas Jazz Hall Of Fame in 2010. She was commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to compose a composition in honor of the late pianist/composer Mary Lou William’s 100th birthday and has eleven CDs under her name with two self produced. She continues to perform and lives in NYC where she teaches privately.

Previous Living Legacy Jazz Award winners include Charles Tolliver, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Odean Pope, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, Joanne Brackeen, Nathan Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Phil Woods, Roy Haynes, Dr. Frank Foster, Kenny Barron, Benny Golson, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid, Randy Weston, Keter Betts, Jimmy Heath, Joe Kennedy, Jr., Shirley Scott, Reggie Workman, Dr. Donald Byrd, Larry Ridley, Barry Harris, Robert "Boysie" Lowery, and Clark Terry. A Millennium Award was conferred on Dr. Billy Taylor in 2000.

Image: Courtesy of Amina Claudine Myers.
Join us for the Poetry Out Loud Virtual National Finals!
Congratulations to the 55 state champions who competed in the Poetry Out Loud Semifinals on May 2! Nine students advanced to the National Finals competition on
May 27th. Those students are:
  • Samuel Eluemunoh, TX
  • Kendall Grimes, TN 
  • Kaden A. Hughes, USVI
  • Ben Long, WV
  • Rahele Megosha, SD
  • Soojin Park, AL
  • Aidyn Reid, CO
  • Irén Hangen Vázquez, VT
  • Alexandra Rose Zaleski, NE
The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will stream live on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 7:00pm ET to 9:30pm ET. Due to the nature of poem permissions and broadcast rights, the May 27th livestream is the only time the National Finals will be streamed.

All 55 state champions will kick-off the evening during the state roll call before we start the competition to find out who will be named the 2021 National Champion and receive a grand prize of $20,000!

You can also share and follow along with the Poetry Out Loud 2021 Semifinals and National Finals program and Finalist insert.

See you at the National Finals!
Apply Now for Jazz Road Creative Residencies
Jazz Road Creative Residencies word mark on a brick red square superimposed over a piano key background.
Mid Atlantic region musicians! Our colleagues at South Arts are now accepting applications for Jazz Road Creative Residencies. Artists from anywhere in the U.S. are eligible for grants of up to $40,000 for 1-to 3-week projects that significantly enhance their creative journey. How projects define "residency" is flexible and might include a focus on creating work, engagement with communities, or a mixture of both. Projects may include the work of a single artist or be a collaboration with other artists or organizations. Find out more on the Jazz Road website and submit your application by July 1, 2021.

Have questions or want to set up a time to discuss your application? Contact Jess Porter, Program Officer for Jazz and Folk & Traditional Arts at
Reminder! Special Presenter Initiatives Deadline May 28th
Shot from behind the audience, two musicians play on a dimly lit stage, a large screen behind them showing them performing in close up.  The musician to the far left stands playing the violin. Next two him a pianist plays a grand piano.
Special Presenter Initiatives support the presentation of professional performing artists in all disciplines at venues, cultural series, and festivals in Delaware, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and West Virginia. 
Nonprofit presenters in DC, DE, and WV can request up to $2,000 of artist fee subsidy support, and up to $5,000 for presenters in the U.S. Virgin Islands, plus additional support to cover project expenses. Proposed artists can be from anywhere worldwide.
For more information about the program, click here.  

Application Deadline: Friday, May 28, 2021 for projects taking place between September 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

Questions? Contact Haowen Wang, Program Officer, Performing Arts, at

Image: The Forum in St. Thomas, USVI presented pianist/composer with support from the 2020 Special Presenter Initiatives. In this photo, Julian Gardiulo performs with Nathan Meltzer during the Water Island Festival. Credit: Nicole Parson.
USArtists International 2022 Guidelines Available in June!
USArtists International (USAI) funds U.S. performing artists, both individuals and ensembles, traveling to or performing virtually at eligible international festivals and arts markets. If that sounds like you, you can apply for up to $15,000 to support your engagements through the USAI 2022 program.

Updated 2022 USAI program guidelines and deadlines will be posted to the Mid Atlantic website in June 2021!

You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook for up-to-date program announcements. eligible?
  • Professional dance, music, or theater ensembles or individual artists
  • at least half of the performers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • applicant must have 501(c)3 status OR work with a fiscal sponsor
  • applicant must have invitation to perform at an international festival or arts market

WHAT...can you actually apply for?
Artists can apply for funds to support: performance fees, agents' fees related to participation in the international engagement, registration/application fees up to $250, and fiscal sponsor administration fees. If you're traveling to the performance, you can also apply for flight, housing, per diem, shipping, and visa costs. If you're performing virtually, you can apply for up to $2,500 in technology needs (hardware and software).

WHERE...can you go with grant funds?
Anywhere outside the U.S. and its territories! You can apply for up to three eligible international festivalsas long as you don't return to the U.S. between festivalson a single application.

Image: Tom Lee in Sounding the Resonant Path during the filming of the performance for the virtual Pesta Boneka Festival #6 in Indonesia. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Lee. 
Opportunity Quick Links
  • APAP is working with the live entertainment industry to launch a national campaign to endorse and adopt “Safe In Sound” reopening guidance, with the goal that this CDC-reviewed checklist of safety protocols becomes the singular, broadly-accepted standard and expectation for safe operations across all events. To view the guidance, please click here. To join this movement and to add your organization as an endorser of this document, please complete this form.
  • PEN America invites applications for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund which awards grants for the translation of book-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or drama that have not previously appeared in English in print or have appeared only in an outdated or otherwise flawed translation. Works should be translations-in-progress, as the grant aims to provide support for completion. Deadline: June 1, 2021
  • The 2021 Maryland Arts Summit: Art of the Community will hold six live streamed sessions on June 3 - 4, 2021 focused on current topics in the Maryland creative sector, interspersed with creative bursts of art-making and performances. To register and for more information, please click here.
  • The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the launch of the Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities. Through the program, NYFA will distribute unrestricted cash grants of $1,000 to artists with a disability who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. The program is open to visual, media, music, performing, and literary artists who live in New York City (any of the five boroughs). Deadline: June 15, 2021, 5 PM ET.
  • The Classics for Kids Foundation invites applications for its matching grant program. Through the program, grants will be awarded to schools or nonprofit organizations to support the incorporation of string instruments into music education programs. All instruments in the string family are supported (including guitars and ukuleles). Programs must serve children from kindergarten through grade twelve. Deadline: June 30, 2021.
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation invites community-based archives in the United States and its territories to submit applications for its 2021 Call for Proposals to Community-Based Archives. These grants will provide support to archives in one or more of the following areas of need: operational costs, collections care, programming activities, and/or activation and advocacy efforts. All interested applicants must first complete a registration request by June 25, 2021 at 9:00am ET. Deadline: Friday, July 2, 2021, 9:00am ET.
  • The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation is awarding grants ranging from $1,500 and $45,000 (averaging $10,000) to cultural organizations in support of organizational effectiveness initiatives, efforts to promote local artists and their work, and initiatives to provide cultural experiences that welcome people of all backgrounds, enhance the lives of metro Baltimore residents, and strengthen the region’s sense of cohesion and identity. Deadline: July 9, 2021.
  • The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is inviting artists and artist teams to apply to the Public Art Building Communities grant in Washington, DC. The program supports individual artists and organizations in their effort to design, fabricate, and install new temporary or permanent works of public art that connect artists with communities. Deadline: July 16, 2021, 11:59 PM ET.